Over 180 Nigerian schoolchildren killed, 1,680 others abducted in 10 years: UNICEF

2024-04-16 22:12:18

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ABUJA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- More than 180 Nigerian schoolchildren have been killed and 1,680 others abducted in the most populous African country over the past decade, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

In a statement commemorating the 10th anniversary of the April 2014 mass abduction of schoolchildren from their dormitories at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, a town in the northeastern state of Borno, UNICEF urged for greater action to secure children's education in Nigeria.

This incident marked the first mass abduction of schoolchildren in Nigeria, the UN agency noted, lamenting the continued attacks on schools in 10 vulnerable states due to inadequate early warning systems to identify the threat of abductions by non-state actors, citing verified UN reports.

It said brazen abductions of students were on the rise in conflict-related violence in the West African country, noting that there have been more than 70 attacks on schools in the past 10 years, with an estimated 60 school staff abducted and 14 others killed.

"The threat of abduction of students is severely affecting children's learning. As of 2021, over 1 million children were afraid to return to school, and in 2020, around 11,500 schools were closed due to attacks," UNICEF said.

While calling for intensified efforts to protect the country's children, identified as the most vulnerable population, UNICEF said only 37 percent of schools across 10 states in Nigeria have early warning systems in place to identify threats such as school attacks. ■

2024-04-16 News